You can feel confident placing NFL picks on Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears even if they experience preseason injuries, as our predicted outcome does not hinge on fringe players.
How Has The Betting Line Moved?
Open: Green Bay -4
Current: Green Bay -6
We saw the Packers open laying nearly a touchdown but now they’re down a couple of points. It looks like people feel the Bears could be a bit more competent than last year’s calamitous mess and that this game – especially being a home opener – could be competitive. It was a lot of points to lay at first.
3 Key Storylines
Mr. Rodgers Dominance: Aaron Rodgers is coming off another MVP-caliber season in which he threw for 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns compared to only five interceptions and he is primed for another big season with plenty of weapons around him including Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. Chicago’s defense ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game last season and did little to upgrade in the offseason so there is plenty of reason to expect Rodgers to light them up in the season opener.
Can Cutler Cut It Out: Giving Jay Cutler the benefit of the doubt because he is learning a new offense is a thing of the past as it is now clear he is as much to blame for the merry-go-round of offensive coordinators he has worked with as anybody else. Marc Trestman was the latest victim of Cutler’s below-average play and new head coach John Fox brought Adam Gase with him from the Denver Broncos to run the offense in Chicago this season. Gase has raved about Cutler’s intelligence but al that matters for Bears fans is how he performs in game situations. Cutler threw for 3,812 yards with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions last season and a long-term contract that will cost the franchise a lot of money is the biggest reason why Chicago is once again banking on Cutler to deliver the goods this season.
Lacy Up & Ready To Run: The fact that the Bears couldn’t defend the pass was probably the biggest reason why their run defense was relatively average last season since opposing teams opted to move the ball through the air at will. Rodgers will certainly take care of business in Week 1 but don’t overlook Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy and his potential to dominate on the ground. Lacy combined for over 1,500 total yards and 13 touchdowns last season and he will be looking to carve up the Bears’ defense both on the ground and through the air in this contest.
Bet Early or Bet Later… And What’s The Play?
There isn’t much to like about Chicago heading in to this contest where their defense appears to be completely outmatched and their offense is still a work in progress with Cutler learning another new playbook. Even on the road the Packers shouldn’t have a difficult time covering the six points on the road in this game so it makes sense to jump on the line now rather than waiting since there is a very good chance it could jump from Green Bay -6 to -7 at some point before Week 1.
NFL Pick: Green Bay -6 at Pinnacle